Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Amish Beard-Cutting Attackers Resentenced After Reversal of Hate Crimes Convictions

Last August, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the hate crimes convictions of 16 members of the Bergholz Amish community who had been charged in beard and hair-cutting attacks on other Amish men and women. The court found that jury instructions on motivation were erroneous. (See prior posting.)  As reported by AP, on Monday the judge who had tried the case resentenced the defendants on the remaining convictions-- primarily conspiracy to obstruct justice. The leader, Sam Mullett, Sr. had his sentence reduced from 15 years to 10 years and 9 months.  Other defendants had up to two years taken off their sentences so that they will serve either 3 and one-half or 5 years. Eight of the defendants have already completed their original sentences.

Following the resentencing, federal prosecutors notified the court that they will not retry defendants on the hate crimes offenses. Northeast Ohio Media Group reports on this development in an article that includes the full text of the notice filed with the court by the U.S. Attorneys Office.